The defense was expected to present its case Wednesday in the murder trial of Charles Nicholas Strain, after which the five-man three-woman jury will decide Strain's fate.
Strain, 56, is being tried in 4th District Court for the second time for second-degree murder in the killing of his stepdaughter, Deanna Jane Dean, 16, in June 1981. Dean's body was discovered by hunters in Spanish Fork Canyon on Oct. 17, 1981.A jury in 1986 found Strain guilty of the crime, and he was sentenced to five years to life in the Utah State Prison by Judge George E. Ballif. But the Utah Supreme Court ordered that Strain receive a new trial because a confession made by Strain to police officers should not have been allowed as evidence.
Tuesday the prosecution rested its case after a former jail mate of Strain's at the Utah County Jail testified that Strain confessed to him several times of killing Dean.
James Karrick, an inmate at the jail in March 1986, said he talked with Strain about 12 times in Strain's cell, and on each occasion Strain confessed to murdering Dean. According to Karrick's testimony, after killing Dean, Strain said "he dumped her in Spanish Fork Canyon."
Karrick, who was in jail awaiting trial on a theft charge from Provo and who was on parole for an earlier burglary conviction at the time, said he was not promised anything and did not receive anything for his testimony. He said he approached jail authorities in 1986 about Strain's confession because Strain was planning an escape and he did not want him free.